Mid 19th century reworking of probable earlier fabric. 2-storey, 3-bay, crowstepped former coachman's house with corbelled turret with pepperpot roof at SE corner. Rubble with raised ashlar margins. Rubble string course. Ashlar parapet to E, stepped over each bay. Entrance elevation to E with central 6-panelled timber entrance door with 3-light fanlight above. Corniced, moulded door surround. 2 flat-roofed dormers to rear (W).
Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Coped gable stacks. Cast iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: original room plan largely extant. Some decorative cornicing and marble fire surrounds. 6-panel doors, some with carved doorheads. Tight, open-well stair with cast-iron balusters and timber handrail. Some working shutters.
Statement of Special Interest
The ground beneath the Palace of Holyroodhouse and nearby structures (including Croft-an-Righ House, the buildings on the N side of Abbey Strand and the buildings around Mews Court) is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 for its archaeological importance. The upstanding remains of Holyrood Abbey and Queen Mary's Bath are also scheduled monuments. Significant upstanding and below-ground archaeological remains may survive as part of and in addition to the structures and features described above.
This former coachman's house is situated in the SE corner of the Abbey Courtyard and is an important integral part of the Holyroodhouse complex. The house is constructed from random rubble masonry. It is likely that some of the external fabric dates from the early 19th century and the turret to the SE corner and the parapet were probably added in the 1850s and 60s as part of Robert Matheson's improvements to the buildings at Holyrood.
The building is not clearly defined in the 1st Edition Map of 1849-53, but by the 2nd Edition of 1876, the building is depicted with a similar room plan as today.
In the 1850s and 1860s, Robert Matheson (c1807-1877), the Clerk of Works for Scotland, carried out a programme of gradual improvements to Holyrood Palace, the Park and the Abbey Precincts, at the request of Queen Victoria and it is likely that this house was one of the buildings to be upgraded at that time. These improvements included designing Lodges for the entrances to the Park and the fountain in the forecourt.
In 1128, David I built an Augustinian Abbey at Holyrood. This flourished and when the Royal Court was in Edinburgh many Royal Guests chose to stay in the guesthouse of the abbey rather than the Castle, as the former was considered more comfortable. In 1501, James IV built a Palace on the site of the Abbey guesthouse and a gatehouse was constructed. This gatehouse was demolished in 1753 and the surrounding area is thought to have become quite dilapidated. In 1822-3, the King's architect, Robert Reid began a new building programme in the area, but it was not until the more comprehensive rebuilding programme by Robert Matheson in the 1850s and 60s that many of the current buildings were constructed. The building is currently in use as an Education Centre (2007).
Part of A-group comprising: Palace of Holyroodhouse; 28 and 30 Croft-An-Righ (Croft-An-Righ House); Abbey Strand Eastern Building; Abbey Strand Western Building; Queen Mary's Bath House; North Garden Sundial; Palace Forecourt Fountain; Abbey Court House; Gatehouse and Former Guard Rooms; Palace Coach House; Stables; Queen's Gallery (see separate listings).
List description revised as part of the Edinburgh Holyrood Ward resurvey (2007-08). List description updated 2013.